April 25, 2021
During the 2020 presidential debates I found myself rooting for Donald Trump, he had called out Joe Biden on his part in perpetuating the Clintons' "Superpredator" propaganda used to push the 90 create the current state of mass incarceration. Unfortunately, Donald Trump could not close the deal, he was not educated on the subject—not many Americans are. Most are under the assumption that it is all about the drug laws, it is so much more.
The superpredator theory pushed by Biden and the democrats dehumanized black and brown youth and made Black and Brown people disposable. Biden had backed the 1994 crime bill and Hillary Clinton as she waged her war of desensitization, "They are not just kids anymore." said Hillary, "They are often the kinds of kids that are called 'superpredators.' No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel." She literally talked about us like dogs while Biden sat by clapping his affirmation.
I was fourteen in 1994 therefore, politics didn't mean much to me but I had unknowingly began to experience the repercussions. The crack epidemic brought with it a rise in violence as a result some in the Black community ceded the disposability of its youth. We know that if you give an inch they will take a mile. Pittsburgh was no exception to this rule, the 90s disappeared miles of young Blacks into the criminal justice system. Police brutality was a natural occurrence, misconduct was the nature of the beast, and corruption was viewed as a necessary evil.
Due to the widespread availability of crack cocaine, drug dealers in Pittsburgh began the practice of packaging the rock inside the tied corners of sandwich bags. This not only preserved the product but made it both disposable and retrievable after swallowing.
Experienced dealers kept bags of rocked cocaine in their mouths and swallowed them when approached by the Police. The Pittsburgh Police Department's Drug Task force used this tactic as an excuse to legitimize the practice of choking black people. They would patrol black neighborhoods in unmarked cars, jump out of their moving vehicles, with weapons drawn and literally go straight for the neck. To the "Task" every young black man was a drug dealer. Therefore, many black boys and men found themselves being choked and ordered to "Spit it out!" —even when there was nothing to spit out.
During this time in Pittsburgh police corruption was not limited to unwarranted and excessive force but also by the falsifying of witness testimony, false confessions, and altering or destroying evidence, all of which were aided by the District Attorney's office. So by the time I was 19, in 1999 I had conditioned my body to accept!being accessible to the violence of Pittsburgh Policing. I had mastered the relaxation technique needed to survive a knee on the neck. I knew that as soon as I was compliant and on the ground a knee would come as casually as Derek Chauvin or as forceful as a flying wrestling move. Violence, I could brace for, however, I was not able to prepare myself for the depths of the corruption I would be subjected to.
September 15, 1999
On 9/15/99 John Carter and Michael Snowden were arrested and in exchange for their freedom the two informed detectives Rob White and Dennis Logan that they knew who committed the Zone 6 Police Station shooting committed on 8/27/99. The two men named me and my codefendant. Later that same day, a man named Leroy Collington met detective Rob White and identified me as one of the masked robbers in the QuiCash robbery committed on 8/31/99. Later that day, my codefendant Ricky Boyer would be take to the police station. Forced to confess and pen a letter of apology, he has not been home since that day.
September 19, 1999
I was arrested in a grand spectacle of the "armed and dangerous" young black man. Chained and cuffed, I was taken to the Zone 5 police station. Initially I was questioned by a young detective I now know as Kevin Krause. I'm an 80s baby, I was raises by television and like so many others I had watched cop shows where the accused always requested a lawyer. Everyone knew not to talk to the police. My second interrogator received the same response and eventually left. The last detective entered and I immediately gave him my spiel, "I want my lawyer."
The detective smiled and introduced himself as Dennis Logan. "I know how it is. All these white people accusing you of something."
"I didn't do shit." I was a young black man in a police station I knew damn well it was an exercise in futility to claim innocence. I tested his attempt to use his blackness to connect with me and asked for a lawyer and a phone call. He left the room and pretended to call a lawyer.
"Tell me what happened." he said as if I hadn't just requested a lawyer, as if I hadn't just told hi. that I didn't know anything.
"I told you I didn't do it." I said.
Then came the famous line police like to use, "Help me help you."
"Where's my lawyer?"
He said something like, "You don't need a lawyer, all they're gonna do is fuck you." I guess he wanted to reserve that act for himself.
The detective left the room and returned with a notebook—he left the room a lot. He informed me that he would transcribe our interview.
Have at it. I thought to myself, It will be pages full of small talk—or so I thought.
"Just personal information." he assured.
For hours the detective cycled in and out of the room asking what I thought were meaningless questions. The answers to those questions form the basis of the confession that he was secretly assembling. Imagine my surprise when at my preliminary hearing I discovered that I confessed.
After my preliminary hearing I returned to the county jail confused and traumatized. The men on the block had watched the overage of my case on the television. Some of them inquired to the state of my well being. We were in the gym when I explained that I had just found out that I and signed a confession. Immediately, the old heads asked who the detectives on my case were. I told them, "Dennis Logan." There was a clamor of disapproval.
"That's his thing." one seasoned veteran said.
"You should beat that, everybody knows he's crooked." said another.
Their words had given me back the hope that I had lost at the preliminary. I was back to believing that I would go home, until an old head named Luck pulled me aside and explained that, I would do at least ten years. "But you'll get back on appeal everybody know that Logan is crooked." he assured.
In September of 1999, I was sentenced to 50-150 years, this is my twenty-second year of incarceration.
Just over a year later, on October 29, 2000 the Pittsburgh Post Gazette published an extensive article celebrating Detective Logan's uncanny ability to procure confessions from criminal suspects (See EXHIBIT A). I was already in Western Penitentiary preparing for my life in the system. Just two years later I would find a different article that would take me down the rabbit hole.
Until June 28, 2002 I was just another Black man with no evidence to substantiate his claim of corrupt police practice. On that date, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette released an article explaining that Detective Logan and his partner, Detective Richard McDonald were found liable for violating the rights of a criminal homicide suspect named Clyde Manns (See EXHIBIT B). I had found my proof.
Thanks to Bill Clinton's crime bill and the AEDPA (Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act) which was signed into law on April 24, 1996, there is a one year time limit to file a federal appeal.
This means that as soon as I was convicted, in order file a timely appeal, I had to learn the law in the fraction of a time it takes a lawyer to get a degree. Bill Clinton sold it as a provision that would focus on terrorism and the death penalty, it was quickly extended to limiting all prisoners to the appeal process.
Before I discovered the article I and already planned to raise my counsels ineffectiveness for failing to call Michael Snowden and John Carter as witnesses. I did not known the law at the time I went to trial but I knew that they had lied. Something just wasn't right about the police using their identification to arrest me but the District Attorney choosing not to call them as witnesses. I was even more suspicious of my lawyers who had not called Snowden and Carter and questioned their identification. At the time I was raising the issue in hopes that Judge Bigley would order an evidentiary hearing where I would finally be able to question the two men and get to the truth of the matter. The article was icing on the cake, I had proof that the detective had a pattern and practice of misconduct during interrogation. According to Brady v Maryland, it was evidence that I should have had at trial. When such evidence is excluded it is grounds for a new trial.
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, is precedent established by the United States Supreme Court which held that when the prosecution withholds evidence that is favorable to an accused it violates the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. This duty requires the prosecutor to find favorable evidence even if it is in the hands of the police. When a Brady violation occurs it is automatic grounds for a new trial. Unfortunately, I would found that Western Pennsylvania's appeals courts work similarly to the Allegheny County District Attorneys office. Probably because District Attorney Stephen Zappala's family is entrenched in PA politics, with his father beings former PA Supreme Court Judge.
Personally I attribute it to pervasive nature of racism on which the courts rely for unequal application of the law.
The courts denied my appeal stating that the newspaper article was not enough evidence and that it was published in 2002—after my trial. The issue involving Snowden and Carter was also denied because I had failed to produce the substance of their testimony. In other words, I had no idea what they were going to say, or if what they were going to say would be favorable to my defense. I took the loss as a lesson and set out to find more proof.
I wrote the FBI, the Pittsburgh Law Department, The Pennsylvania Attorney General, I even tried filed for Logans criminal record (Click to see correspondence). I was told, in some form or fashion, that I was barking up the wrong tree.
In 2011, I met Charles Jones who supplied me with A Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, Office of Municipal Investigations, "Cases by employee and incident Data sheet" which listed a number of complaints of misconduct against the detective. You know, things that were covered up at trial. I thought that I had struck gold with more proof of hidden corruption. I immediately filed a Post Conviction Relief Act petition for relief based on the newly discovered evidence. The court appointed Christopher Urbano who seemed to be on my side. I should have known something was fishy when I wrote the court and instead of receiving an answer back from Judge Bigley I received a letter from Mr. Urbano (Click to see letter). In it Urbano said, "While in the judge's chambers, I was informed that the court had received your letter and a new undated PCRA petition and claims this morning." What was he doing hanging out in the judge's chambers? Urban led me on as if he were actually interested in fighting my case—until he was not. Instead of submitting an argument to support my claims, he submitted a Finley letter.
What is a Finley letter?
You're gonna love this. A Finley letter, also known as a "no-merit" letter is filed by a lawyer when they do not believe that a criminal defendant has any meritorious issues on appeal and therefore, they request to be removed from the case. Now don't get me wrong, I would completely understand if no-merit letters were being filed by paid attorneys, however, the overwhelming majority of "no-merit" letters are filed by public defenders and court-appointed attorneys. Due to their overwhelming caseloads, being overworked, and out resourced by the prosecution they simply do not have the time or do not take the time to investigate the cases to which they are assigned. So, they file no-merit letters—but they always keep the money.
The most dreaded Finley letter is doubly dangerous because in order to be removed from the case, your own lawyer has to make a case against you. It literally turns your advocate into your adversary. Consider this, your back is against the wall and the person who is supposed to fight with you kicks your legs from under you. The Judge and the D.A. then pile on and press your face into the mud. I fought like hell but I eventually ate mud.
I went back to the drawing board and in 2015 the Western District Federal court sent my celly Damond Grover received a copy of the lawsuit filed by Clyde Mann's against the city of Pittsburgh (Click to view). The suit filed May 1, 2000 maned Detective Logan, his partner Richard McDonald, Commander Ronald Freeman and Kevin Krause as defendants. Manns proved that the detectives illegally detained him during an interrogation for a murder. They also attempted to have him sign a prewritten statement, falsified the affidavit of probable cause to search his mothers house, removed him from station and took him to the crime scene and threatened him to confess (Click to view), and most importantly it showed that the lawsuit happened at the same time I was going to trial.
Back to square one—the Brady violation.
Remember Brady v. Maryland? If you don't, I suggest that you get to know it. The violation of its rules is the driving force behind wrongful convictions. It is the greatest evidence against a corrupt system.
In September of 2020, the National Registry of Exonerations ("NRE") released its findings on data compiled since 1989. Out of 2,400 cases analyzed by the NRE, 54% were the result of misconduct by law enforcement and prosecutors, and the more severe the crime, the more likely misconduct played a role¹. The report revealed that concealing evidence was the most common type of misconduct, happening in 44% of cases with prosecutors responsible for concealing evidence in 73% of those cases.
These are violations of the Brady v Maryland rule. The implications of the report are far more profound because the report only details exonerations, not those who accepted time served with pleas of guilt and certainly not those who have yet to overcome the one year time limitation set forth by Bill Clinton's AEDPA. (I told you he did I more damage than you could imagine).
After understanding the dynamics of Brady violations I understood the absolute power of District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala. He could hide evidence himself or rely on henchmen like Detective Dennis Logan to violate every provision the law and serve a suspect to him on a platter. The defense community in Pittsburgh have long been aware of this practice of corruption and have yet to offer any real opposition to this culture that railroads young black men at a disproportionate rate. Its always business as usual.
I had secured the proof that the courts said I was missing. I was sure that I was headed home. The Court appointed me an attorney by the name of Scott Coffey.
[¹. Chapel, Dale CRIMINAL LEGAL NEWS, "New Report Shows More Than Half of Wrongful Convictions Involved Misconduct by Police and Prosecutors" Dec. 2020]
In 2016 I had already done 17 years, which meant that I had become experienced in doing legal work for my comrades captured by the system. I knew about Scott Coffey for a number of reasons. First, the guy is a great appeal lawyer IF he wants to represent you. I had contacted him for a previous appeal, he denied to represent me stating that there was a conflict of interest because he was representing my codefendant. I left it alone.
When Scott Coffey is appointed on the states dollar, and your case is difficult, there is a strong liekelihood that he will file a Finley letter and leave you eating mud. I know because I had helped over ten people (in one year) attempt to fight Finley letters filed by Coffey (and that was just in SCI Fayette). I instantly wrote Mr. Coffey and asked him not to do or file anything because I would be requesting his removal from my case. I motioned the court to remove him citing that he had previously stated that he couldn't represent me due to a conflict of interest. Of course, Judge Bigley ignored my motion and ten days later, and as expected, Scott Coffey filed a scathing Finley letter that read like a brief submitted by the prosecution.
I'm not much for conspiracy theories but damn... Needless to say, I fought like hell and ate mud.. The courts told me that yes, I had found the evidence to support my claim but guess what? Because I had mentioned the newspaper article in a previous appeal, the issue was previously litigated and therefore could not be reviewed (you only get to raise an issue once).
his is what I mean by not applying the law because of course I know that I can't revisit an issue I've already raised but neither can I resubmit evidence I never had. Put simply, it is impossible to have previously litigated newly discovered evidence. The court faulted me for not finding what was hidden by the prosecution which goes against the Brady rule.
Let me get deeper so you know how real Brady violations are:
In a November 8, 2016 article attorney Ellen C. Brotman of Griesling Law wrote an article in THE LEGAL INTELLIGENCER, entitled, Prosecutor's Duty to Disclose Favorable Evidence: Giving RPC 3.8 Muscle in which she said, "Since 1989, 1.900 people have been exonerated of crimes that either wrongfully imprisoned the FOR LIFE, or placed them at the threat of death...A common theme in a large percentage of wrongful imprisonment cases is prosecutorial misconduct, including the suppression of favorable evidence, in violation of Brady v Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)."
Brady is important because it protects the Constitutional Rights of an accused person, namely due process rights. Due Process ensure that we are able to see all of the evidence against us as well as all of the evidence that proves our innocence or mitigates sentencing. It is important because without knowing everything, we may not be able to investigate and prepare for our cases, call witnesses, and confront the witnesses against us with evidence that proves their bias or propensity to lie.
The Brady rule is so important that the American Bar Association drafted rule 3.8 to ensure that it is followed (Pennsylvania Rule 3.8(d)) which requires prosecutors to "make timely disclosure of all...information...that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information."
If that was not enough, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 573:
(1)MANDATORY. In all court cases, on request by the defendant, and subject to any protective order which the Commonwealth might obtain under this rule, the Commonwealth shall disclose to the defendant's attorney all of the following requested items or information, provided they are material to the instant case. The Commonwealth shall, when applicable permit the defendant's attorney to inspect and copy
photograph such items.
Of course, the appeals courts and the prosecutors always had ways to doge this obligation—antything to avoid freeing people. One of the tactics is to say that you're too late or that you didn't look hard enough for the evidence that the prosecution hid, something they call due diligence ( If you think getting an officer charged and convicted is hard try getting one of these Western Pa appellate courts to reprimand Zappala's office for violating the rules). The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals has had enough of this game with Pennsylvania prosecutors and on January 20, 2021 it filed an Opinion in William Bracey v Sup't Rock view, 986 F.3d 274.
The Court in Bracey stated that, "While it had previously been suggested that defendants had to search for exculpatory evidence themselves, Dennis v Sec'y, 834 F.3d 291 made clear that a defendant can reasonably expect, and is entitled to presume, that the government fulfilled its Brady obligations because the prosecutions duty to disclose is absolute and in no way hinges on efforts by the defense." The court went on to say that, "A defendant has no burden to scavenge for hints of undisclosed Brady material even if the material part could be found in public records."
Put simply, the prosecutor cannot cheat by hiding evidence and then years later (20 in my case) when you find the evidence, the prosecutor blames you for not looking hard enough.
Getting Back to Scott Coffey and eating mud...
I was crushed after losing that appeal. It was the first time that I had physically felt depression. I still had to find a way to fight. I was up against a well oiled machine. I had did everything the courts told me, found everything they said I didn't have, still no rhythm. It was the first time I considered that I might not win.
I had done on my own, and with the help of my brothers, what others were unable to do while represented by the city's attorneys.
I had proven the sole witness against me to be corrupt. I had disputed the sole evidence against me. What else could I do? I remember expressing my fatigue to my mother who offered me no consolation. She simply said, "You may not be where you want to be but you are where you need to be." I'm not going to lie, in the moment I did not want to hear any riddles. But I though about it. Everything happens for a reason. What was my reason? There was something I was supposed to be doing. I couldn't figure it out.
Then something happened.
In 2018, Antwon Rose II was murdered by Officer Michael Rosfeld². I immediately felt guilt. His murder was evidence of the system's proficiency because for every black man in prison a black boy would meet the same fate. Whether poverty, prison, or police, it is death by State sponsored violence. I watched the city erupt in protest, I was not there. I felt guilt. Sisters led the way. I wasn't there. At the same time these things were happening the system was proving its efficiency in deficiency, 10 (I'm rounding down for honesty's sake) men from the Pittsburgh area were released from SCI Fayette only to be murdered soon after regaining their freedom. Again, I felt guilt.
One day I was watching television when I happened by a news report of a shooting. Two young black men. The newscaster interviewed a Black man who appeared to be my age, he stared into the camera, "Somebody need to come teach these kids something." I was confused, he was free, wasn't it also his duty to teach? The culmination if these things made me realize that freedom cannot be secured individually. Harriet Tubman was the greatest example of that realization. She had successfully escaped. She could have kicked up her feet and pretended that she was free but instead, she went back. Because no one is free until we're all free.
[²He was not murdered by a "former officer" as news reports like to suggest] .
I and to focus on helping my people. I rededicated myself, my celly and I started a study group called BUILD UP (Brothers Using Intelligence to Lead and Develop Unity and Power). I set out to teach and ended up learning more than I ever had (the wisdom of these brothers is an untapped resource). Later that year I was visited by Ms. Liz Delosa of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. She and her private investigator had searched for Michael Snowden, without success. She was the first to drop the bomb: Detective Dennis Logan was working in the District Attorney's office as the Chief Investigator in the appeals division. He is in charge of investigating the very claims that center around his own misconduct.
Down the rabbit hole we go.
You already know what I did—I got back in the mud. I asked Attorney General Josh Shapiro to launch an investigation into the pattern and practice of misconduct as it relates to Detective Dennis Logan and the Allegheny District Attorneys office. Shapiro told me that his office wasn't the office to conduct investigations (Click to view) he said this after he had investigated the predator priests. Okay. I filed a complaint to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel who told me that I had to win my case to get help from them (Click to view) Figures. I filed private criminal complaints with the Attorney General's office against District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Fitzsimmons, and Detective Dennis Logan, for Obstructing Justice and Official Oppression. Imagine my surprise when they contacted me and advise me to file the complaints with Zappala himself (Click to view). So, I filed with Zappala and have yet to hear an answer.
Just when I was at my wits end with the Allegheny County Criminal Justice system Michael Snowden was transferred to SCI Fayette.
I had been at SCI Fayette for eight years when Michael Snowden got there in November of 2019. The prison is divided into two sides, for security purposes, therefore, I never got to see Michael face to face but soon after he landed there, I received word that he had been searching for me for years.
On November 14, 2019 Michael Snowden signed and notarized an affidavit stating the following:
On September 15, 1999 myself along with my friend, John Carter fled from a stolen gold Cadillac that was used in the robbery of the QuiCash on Frankstown Avenue. Mr. Carter and I were later arrested by the PITTSBURGH Police. While in custody, Carter told me that they were going to lock him up for a long time and persuaded me to lie to officers and tell them that Pierre Pinson and Ricky Boyer did the Zone 6 police station shooting, so that we could go free. At first, I was hesitant until Detective Dennis Logan assured me that when he was done with Pinson and Boyer, I would not have to testify. He then showed me a picture of each of them and I positively identified them as shooters. I was forced to lie in order to help my friend John Carter. This has weighed heavily on my conscience and I am now coming forward to help free two innocent men. (Click to view).
I was eager to get back in the mud. Michael had changed the game for me on so many levels. His affidavit revealed that there was corruption at every level of my process:
•Corrupt police practice + False witnesses + Falsified probable cause + False confession = 50 to 150 years.
First, the Pittsburgh Police had arrested Snowden and Carter in control of the car used in the QuiCash robbery. However, they were not charged, instead, the police and the district attorneys office used their statements as probable cause to arrest me.
Sound familiar? We just witnessed this practice in the Wilkinsburg massacre where an entire family was gunned down.
The District attorney's office pulled a similar stunt, upping the ante, the D.A.s office used a man who admitted to murdering a baby, to create the probable cause to arrest the men accused of the murders. In that case the lawyers were fortunate enough to discover the violation. Imagine the number of people behind bars that were not as fortunate. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Still don't see the pattern?
Remember Clyde Manns, the man who sued Logan and his partner for violating his civil rights during an interrogation? Well, one of his complaints was that the detective fabricated probable cause to search his home. At the Pretrial Conference in the Mann's case, attorney Robert E. Mielnicki explained it plain:
"While he was there they asked for consent to search his house. After he said no, they went and got a warrant to search his house based upon, in my opinion, nothing even remotely approaching probable cause." (Click to view)
It took me twenty years to link these few pieces of evidence imagine if Pittsburgh really paid attention. But injustice is a Black thing and "Pittsburgh is Wakanda for white people." How else could the city be among the worst for Black women and simultaneously be dubbed one of the most livable cites in the country?
But wait, there's more.
Because the District Attorneys office did not reveal this guess what that is? A violation of Brady v Maryland. See another pattern? Just for that alone I am entitled to a new trial.
It gets deeper...
Remember old Leroy Collington who detective Rob White said identified me from a photo array? I had always wondered why the D.A. never called him as a witness. I did some research. Turns out Mr. Collington is an ex-con and a failed jailhouse informant found it in the law library: COMMONWEALTH V MCGROGAN, 532 A2d 1203, a case way back in 1987. I remembered that photo array, there were definitely six photos—and none of them were chosen.
What do you mean Pierre?
I'm glad you asked. I love to teach the people. In Pittsburgh, when a witness identifies someone out of a photo array that witness must circle the photo of the person they identified and place their initials next to it. There just a bunch of uncircled pictures. It dawned on me: Collington must have been the back up plan in case Detective Logan couldn't get the confessions to stick.
Okay, so Detective Rob White and O. Coleman were in on it. I was a Black man accused of a crime against the police, of course they would do whatever it takes and feel justified—just another Black life lost. Michael Snowden had clarified a lot of things for me. At the beginning of all of this, Ricky and I were scheduled for a preliminary hearing on October 5, 2000 and listed as a codefendant was Michael Snowden (Click to view). That hearing was postponed and when Ricky and I returned on October 13, 2000 Snowden was not on the docket.
Because of Logan's confession I was charged with a carjacking ( icing on top of the icing on top)/for which I was scheduled a preliminary hearing on October 29, 2000 and wouldn't you know it, Michael Snowden was my codefendant.
But something unexpected happened. The D.A. tossed out the charges against both Snowden and I. I thought the system was working, it was the "cake bake" (being lulled to sleep). They charged Snowden as leverage for his testimony... But remember!!! Dennis Logan assured Snowden that he would not have to testify. How could Logan assure such a thing? He's not the D.A. Well, he is the confessor. Only insiders on the Pittsburgh Police know that he and his partner have been fabricating confessions for years. Who's going to believe me, a Black man accused of shooting up a police station versus the confessor? It took for George Floyd tone torture to death for America to finally believe the inherent brutality of American policing.
I had always told my family that I had been railroaded but I know they weren't able to conceptualize injustice in motion. The generational trauma of being stolen away causes many Black families to chalk it up as "them white people got him." It was not until my family went shopping for lawyers that they were confronted with tmy grim reality. After meeting with some of Pittsburgh's most renowned defense attorneys they were surprised to find that each echoed the same sentiment. "Everyone knows Logan, he's a liar." My mom couldn't believe that it was common knowledge among defense attorneys—and no one was doing anything.
I had to explain what I had learned long ago, Pittsburgh has a history of silence. My case happened in the 90s not far removed from the apex of the crack epidemic and Democrats like Joe Biden's peddling of the "superpredator" theory that pegged young Black men as wild animals. Pittsburgh had handed a generation of young black men over to the system. I remember when the Feds indicted the L.A.W. gang, and used the full weight of the federal government to railroad teenagers, no one objected. Teenagers around the city were getting certified as adults and sent to penitentiaries—no one objected. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala has a stranglehold on Pittsburgh and a chokehold on justice for so many people in Allegheny county. Sorry mom, Pittsburgh is Wakanda for white people.
C'mon Pierre, you're exaggerating.
On August 30, 1999, three days after the Zone 6 Police Station shooting, a man named Eugene Vey offered the police information. According to the police report, (Click to view) A white man named Ian Kranak bragged about "shooting up some houses, a stop sign, and the police station." That was the extent of the investigation done on Ian Kranak. I rest my case.
So without all of this false evidence what do they have on me?
"FUC THE PIGZ"
That is what is tattooed on my arm. In the vehicle that the police say was used in the police shooting there is similar writing: "FUCC THE PIGGZ." (A handwriting expert should cure this one).
How do they know that was the vehicle used in the shooting?
A witness said they saw a dark colored SUV leaving the scene of the shooting. According to the investigators, after numerous searches of the vehicle one 9millimeter shell casing was found in the back of the black Jeep Cherokee. Which is funny because Detective Logan testified that in his confession, Ricky said that he picked up all of the shell casings. What makes it even stranger is that five shell casings on the scene. I gues some things just don't add up. Like Detective Blase Kraeer testifying that he and officer Godlewski searched the vehicle on August 31, 1999 and found no firearms evidence (no shell casings). One just mysteriously appeared on a third go around.
Adding to that is the fact that the police say that a 9millimeter caliber weapon and a 45 caliber weapon were used in the crime. I was arrested in possession of both a 9mm and a .45. Forensics proved that neither one was used in the crime.
Believe me I'm still digging. I hope to interview Leroy Collington and get him to admit not only that he lied, but I am most curious to the why. Also, when the Mann's case was litigated there was a stipulation to seal the files of Logan and McDonald. This shields their records from the view the public. However, good ole Brady v. Maryland, and cases like Pennsylvania v Ritchie dictate that statutory privileges like that stipulation must yield to my due process rights. I know that is going to be a hard fight because once that evidence is unearthed it will free a lot of people.
There are not many organizations in the Pittsburgh area dedicated to achieving true and equal justice. I cannot do it on my own. We are not voiceless. We do not need people to speak for us, we need allies to stand with us against injustice in all forms. Right now we are all fighting separately, to secure our individual freedoms. It is time that we direct our energies toward changing the culture that allows us to disappear without question and for too long.
The Criminal justice system is not an ally or protector of the oppressed. I know that innocence is easy for the public to support. However, we allow the media to use innocence as the standard for justice it creates the conditions in which corruption thrives. The moment we concede a Black life as disposable all Black lives become disposable. Give 'em an inch—they take a mile. We want Equal Justice for all!